Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 11-- From Brittany to the Loire Valley

On Day 11 we set out to leave Normandie for Brittany.  We stopped for about an hour in Chateaubriant (in Brittany) so we could walk around the Wednesday morning market. 

(Castle in Chateaubriant)

(Chocolate crepe Globus arranged for each of us to get from a stall)

 It was really busy with the locals buying clothes and local produce.  You could even buy frommage (cheese) or meat!  Chateaubriant was the location of a medieval meat market, so visiting it on market day was very appropriate.

(A pretty church in town--I was sad we didn't have time to go inside)

(The store sign has a woman in the traditional garb of this area)

Our next stop was at Angers, on the edge of the Loire Valley.  Here we had two hours to ourselves to have lunch and do whatever we wanted in the town.  We went into this cute little store where I got myself a souvenir--a small tapestry made in France--Angers is famous for its tapestries.  I think I might try to frame it. 

(The building on the right has the store in the lower level.  It was a rich merchants house in the middle ages)

(Ruins of a Roman wall!)
From there, Katherine and I got another quick sandwich, drink, dessert combo (this time my dessert was raisin pan (a raisin and some citron-like fruit in a bun-very good). 

We woofed down the sandwich and hurried towards the castle in the town so that we could go in on our own. 

The Chateau d'Angers dates originally to the early 1200s, with extensive renovations in the 1300s, so it is newer than the castle I shared in Caen.  You can tell that this chateau is newer because the towers are round--the towers in Caen (and also in Provins actually) are square.

The castle has huge thick walls which added to the defenses of the castle to protect Brittany from the Normans.  As you can see, the walls also had a decorative pattern in them--first time I have seen that! 
(The drawbridge over the once moat would have connected at the gate above)
(Gardens inside the wall)

(gate to the private quarters)

Nowadays it is most famous as the home of the Apolcalypse Tapestry--which are housed in the lower level of the picture above. 

This medieval tapestry was produced between 1377 and 1382, and depicts the Book of the Revelation by St. John.  Louis I, the Duke of Anjou, comissioned the tapestry. 
(Death is shown as a skeleton in this picture.  This was rare for France of this period)

It is the the oldest French tapestry left--and it is huge!  It originally was 90 panels, but only 71 remain.   

Katherine and I didn't have much time, so we very quickly went through it, and then we also ducked into the chapel, and the royal quarters. 


We also darted up on the walls (of course!), first climbing up the tower below.

(View of vineyard right next to the walls)


There were some beautiful gardens around the base of the castle we glanced down at on our way back to the bus.

We traveled for about 2 hours after this stop, until we reached the chateau (castle) that Globus had arranged for us to stay at for two days--Chateau de Breuil.

Sadly, there weren't enough rooms in the chateau itself, so there was a lottery, and Katherine and I didn't end up as one of lucky majority in the big house.  Instead, we were in what our tour guide referred to as "The Queen's Hamlet." 

I think of it more as being near the stables.  We were located near a duck pond and the horse pasture--I even saw a horse through our window while we were getting ready for dinner. 

But it was still pretty and our room was very nice.

After a brief stop in our room, we wandered around the grounds a bit.

(tiny chapel, located right across from the palace)

(My picture of the Globus bus from this trip)
For dinner this night we paid for an excursion dinner, since the Chateau is located in the middle of the woods (athough it does have a restaurant...but more on that tomorrow).  Dinner was in a cute restuarant called Restaurant de Le Tour (Restaurant of the Tower), which was built to include an old tower, once used to defend the city. 

Our meal consisted of fresh foods grown or raised on the farm on the property.  The dinner was delicious!  I had the goat cheese salad,
duckling (served in a cream sauce with fruits),
and the chocolate profiteroles (like a big cream puff drenched in dark chocolate sauce). 

A couple of pictures of the restaurant as we left, that really show the way they built the restaurant around the tower.


  1. WOW..This quite a trip that your on...Yes the tapestries are absolutely fabulous, I picked up a few many years ago...I can well imagine the prices now... That goat cheese salad made my mouth water...I love french cuisine...and I'm so enjoying taking this tour with you two ... the history and scenery ( your pictures) are sensational ....I feel like I'm THANKS for sharing the experiences...Hugs

  2. Great photos, as usual! :) I'm glad that you got a picture of the store sign in Chateaubriant illustrating those crazy traditional hats, haha.

    I also like your photos from the excursion dinner (which, to give you credit, I was glad we did...LOL). I don't remember seeing ANY of those things inside the restaurant, so I either was oblivious (probably) or those were all shots you took going to/from the restroom. :-P. There is one photo where I am VERY SUBTLY avoiding your camera, as I am sure you noticed! :-P ;)

    Also, I wish we'd had a longer stay in Angers! Although I guess we would have had a LITTLE bit longer if I had spent less time stuck in the shop waiting for my VAT paperwork...


Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)